Does Donut Shop mocha latte have sugar?

Quick Answer

Yes, Donut Shop mocha latte does contain added sugar. The mocha latte is made with espresso, steamed milk, chocolate syrup, and whipped cream, all of which contain sugar in some form. The exact amount of sugar can vary based on the size and customizations, but a medium (16 oz) Donut Shop mocha latte with no customizations contains approximately 39 grams of sugar.

Ingredients in Donut Shop Mocha Latte

The main ingredients in a Donut Shop mocha latte are:


The espresso used in the mocha latte contains no sugar on its own. However, it does provide a rich coffee flavor.

Steamed Milk

The steamed milk contains lactose, which is a natural sugar found in dairy products. The amount of lactose can vary, but cow’s milk contains around 5 grams of lactose per cup on average.

Chocolate Syrup

Donut Shop uses a proprietary chocolate syrup to flavor their mocha lattes. This chocolate syrup contains sugar, usually in the form of high fructose corn syrup or sucrose. The exact sugar content can vary by preparation method.

Whipped Cream

The whipped cream topping contributes additional lactose and sugar from the cream used to make it. Sweeteners like vanilla extract or sugar may also be added to the whipped cream.

Sugar Content of Donut Shop Mocha Latte

The sugar content of a Donut Shop mocha latte depends on the size and any customizations. Here are the typical sugar amounts:

Small (12 oz)

A small mocha latte has around 23 grams of sugar. This comes from the espresso, about 2 oz steamed milk, 1 oz chocolate syrup, and 1 oz whipped cream.

Medium (16 oz)

A medium mocha latte contains approximately 39 grams of sugar. This accounts for the espresso, around 5 oz steamed milk, 2 oz chocolate syrup, and 2 oz whipped cream.

Large (20 oz)

A large mocha latte has roughly 51 grams of sugar. This comes from the espresso, about 8 oz steamed milk, 3 oz chocolate syrup, and 3 oz whipped cream.

Extra Syrup or Whipped Cream

Adding extra pumps of chocolate syrup or extra whipped cream will increase the sugar content. Each additional syrup pump adds around 12 grams of sugar, while extra whipped cream adds about 1 gram per ounce.

Daily Recommended Sugar Intake

When evaluating the sugar content of Donut Shop’s mocha latte, it’s useful to compare it to the recommended daily sugar intake.

World Health Organization (WHO)

The WHO recommends limiting added sugar intake to no more than 10% of total daily calorie intake. For a standard 2000 calorie diet, this equates to around 50 grams of added sugar per day.

American Heart Association (AHA)

The AHA recommends a maximum of 36 grams of added sugar per day for men and 25 grams per day for women. This accounts for no more than 150 and 100 calories from added sugar respectively.

U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA)

The FDA does not provide a % daily value for sugar on nutrition labels. However, the label does require listing total and added sugars in grams per serving. This allows consumers to monitor their intake.

Does Donut Shop Mocha Latte Exceed Daily Recommended Sugar?

A medium or large Donut Shop mocha latte exceeds the recommended daily added sugar intake, according to the WHO, AHA, and FDA guidelines.

A small (12 oz) mocha latte contains 23 grams sugar, staying within the limits for men under the AHA guidelines. However, it still provides nearly half the recommended WHO max of 50 grams sugar per day.

Those limiting sugar intake can customize their mocha latte, such as ordering a small size, reducing chocolate syrup pumps, or skipping the whipped cream. Sugar-free syrup and milk alternatives like almond milk can further reduce sugar content.

Sugar Content Comparison to Other Drinks

Comparing a Donut Shop mocha latte to other popular coffee drinks provides useful context for the sugar content:

Beverage Serving Size Total Sugar (Grams)
Plain brewed coffee 16 oz 0
Starbucks Caffè Mocha 16 oz (Grande) 39
Dunkin’ Donuts Mocha Latte 16 oz (Medium) 30
McCafe Mocha 16 oz (Medium) 43
Donut Shop Mocha Latte 16 oz (Medium) 39

As the table shows, a medium Donut Shop mocha latte is quite high in sugar compared to black coffee, but contains a similar amount to other popular coffee chain mocha lattes. McCafe has the highest sugar content at 43 grams, while Dunkin’ Donuts has slightly less at 30 grams.

Tips for Ordering a Lower Sugar Mocha Latte

For those wanting to enjoy an occasional mocha latte while limiting sugar intake, here are some tips:

Size Down

Choose a smaller 12 oz (small) rather than 16 oz (medium) or 20 oz (large). The smaller size can reduce sugar by around 15 grams.

Reduce Syrup

Order fewer pumps of chocolate syrup, such as 2 pumps instead of the standard 3 pumps in a medium. Each pump eliminates up to 12 grams of sugar.

Easy on the Whipped Cream

Whipped cream adds lactose and sugar. Ask for light or no whipped topping to cut down sugar.

Request Sugar-Free Syrup

Sugar-free chocolate syrups use artificial sweeteners instead of sugar to flavor the mocha.

Non-Dairy Milk

Substitute the steamed milk for unsweetened almond or coconut milk to avoid the natural lactose sugar.

Watch the Extras

Additional flavorings, toppings, and mixes like caramel or cookies can quickly increase the sugar content.

What About Sugar-Free Mocha Lattes?

Ordering a sugar-free mocha latte seems like an easy solution to get the flavors you love without the added sugar. However, taking a closer look reveals a few things to keep in mind.

Sugar Substitutes Have Drawbacks

While artificial sweeteners like aspartame, saccharin, acesulfame potassium, and sucralose have zero calories and carbs, some research indicates they may adversely impact blood sugar and insulin levels. The FDA deems them safe for consumption, but those managing diabetes or weight should take care.

May Still Contain Some Sugar

“Sugar-free” doesn’t always mean zero sugar. Some chain coffee shops use skinny or sugar-free syrups that still contain 1-2 grams of sugar per pump. Check nutrition info to be sure.

Taste Might Be Different

Artificial sweeteners don’t taste exactly like real sugar, so the flavor profile of a sugar-free mocha latte may be slightly different. It pays to try before committing to a large size.

Higher Cost

Sugar-free syrups and milk alternatives usually cost extra. Ordering a customized sugar-free drink can be 50-100% more expensive. The upcharge might not fit every budget.


A Donut Shop mocha latte does contain significant added sugar, ranging from 23 grams in a small size up to 51 grams in a large. The medium and large sizes exceed the maximum daily recommendations for added sugar intake by health organizations.

Those limiting sugar have options like ordering a smaller drink, reducing pumps of syrup, skipping whipped cream, requesting sugar-free flavors, or using non-dairy milk. Sugar-free mocha lattes use artificial sweeteners instead, but some may contain traces of sugar still and have associated drawbacks.

In moderation, an occasional mocha latte can be worked into a balanced diet. But enjoying daily would likely lead to excessive added sugar intake. Being mindful of serving sizes, ingredients, and preparation options allows you to satisfy a sweet tooth while managing your sugar consumption.

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